Georgia Announces Hiring of Mel Tucker as New Defensive Coordinator
Mere hours after Alabama won the College Football Playoff National Championship Monday night, Georgia made it official.
Mel Tucker, who spent this past season as the Crimson Tide’s defensive backs coach, was formally announced as the Bulldogs’ next defensive coordinator on new head coach Kirby Smart’s staff.
Georgia made the announcement early Tuesday morning via Twitter.
Tucker, who leaves after just one season, was the final piece of Smart’s staff. Though it had been widely reported last week that Tucker would take the position with Georgia, he would neither confirm nor deny the reports when pressed both before and after Alabama’s 45-40 win over Clemson.
Smart, the now former Alabama defensive coordinator, also coached his final game with the Crimson Tide Monday.
Tucker, 44, was a 10-year NFL coaching veteran, spending the past 10 seasons in the pro ranks. His past seven seasons were spent working as a defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears before Alabama hired him last January.
Tucker, a former Wisconsin player, began his coaching career in 1997 as a graduate assistant on Nick Saban’s Michigan State staff. In 2000, he served as Saban’s defensive backs coach at LSU.
After it was announced that Smart had taken the Georgia head coaching job in December, Saban opted to hire former assistant Jeremy Pruitt -- who most recently served as Georgia's defensive coordinator -- rather than promote Tucker.
Joining Tucker and Smart from Alabama is Glenn Schumann, who had a player development/player personnel title with the Crimson Tide.
Schumann, who will serve as a defensive assistant with Georgia, tweeted a picture of him and Tucker wearing Georgia gear on a plane headed for Athens early Tuesday morning.